Once again it is my pleasure on behalf of the IALA Council to welcome you to an IALA Conference and next year it will be our twentieth. This event will be hosted by Marinha do Brasil, Diretoria de Hidrografia e Navegaçāo from 27 May to 3 June 2023 at the Windsor Convention Center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
At IALA it has certainly been a great distinction to be involved in the planning of this grand gathering closely cooperating with our Brazilian Navy partners. After the difficulties encountered around the globe with the Covid pandemic we are indeed relieved that all is now set fair for a successful event. To proceed here after these bad times speaks volumes for the hard work and dedication of staff on both sides of the Atlantic.
The theme of the conference is Marine Aids to Navigation Innovation for a Sustainable Future. Delegates will not be disappointed for there will be a broad technical programme of multi-disciplinary topics delivered by hosts, our Members’ experts and others. Our Industrial Members will be presenting their aids to navigation products and services at the customary Exhibition.
By way of background, let me remind you briefly of Brazil’s stalwart membership of IALA. Since becoming a member in 1961, Brazil has been a very active and supportive member. In June 1988 they were first elected to the IALA Council and have been consistently re-elected. Rio de Janeiro already welcomed the 26th and 45th sessions of the IALA Council respectively in June 2001 and 2011, and the Industrial Members’ Committee in 2019.
More recently, the IALA Heritage Lighthouse of the year 2020 was awarded to Brazil’s Santo Antônio da Barra Lighthouse.
It is a pleasure too, to record that the diplomatic representative of Brazil in Paris signed the Convention on the new IALA in October 2021, becoming one of the founding fathers of the new organization.
Of Brazil it is important to recognise that this, the largest country in South America, has huge maritime responsibilities with 7,400 km of coastline, it straddles the Equator with North Atlantic and South Atlantic waters and embraces part of the world’s biggest river system, the Amazon basin. Our hosts are responsible for no fewer than1,626 Fixed Aids to Navigation and 3,156 Floating Aids to Navigation.
I much look forward to meeting you in Rio next May.
Secretary-General International Association of
Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities